Photo Courtesy of Fay Darmawi

Today officially marks the first day of the year of the ox. While the New Year is typically marked by the grand Chinese Lunar New Year Parade, the festivities were cancelled, like so many other things over the past year. In place of the typical celebrations, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco built 11 large ox statues around the Bay to create a small scavenger hunt. 

The majority of the statues are on the northeast side of the city, but some are farther out. A map of all statues can be found here, and residents hoping to find the statues alone have until March 14 before they are removed. 

SF Urban Film Fest

The seventh annual SF Urban Film Fest begins Sunday, Feb. 14. The week-long festival kicks off at 5 p.m. with a YouTube livestream featuring San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin and multimedia journalist Yesica Prado. 

The pair will ask each other 36 questions “aimed at making us all fall in civic love,” according to the event’s website. The questions were written by National Public Housing Museum, a sponsor of the event, in reference to the 36 questions meant to advance intimacy, written by psychologist couple Arthur and Elaine Aron. 

“In pursuing our mission in the new world presented by COVID-19, we are finding ways to keep the civic spark alive by meeting community members where they’re at,” said Fay Darmawi, the festival’s founder and executive director. “We’re asking our audience members this year: ‘What can you find that’s always been there in yourself? How can you use it in a new way to be part of and make a more vibrant, equitable community?’”

The festival includes a dozen film screenings and panel discussions, as well as five special events to be hosted on YouTube, Zoom and SF Urban Film Fest’s website. 

Pricing for the event is on a “pay what you can” basis in order to maximize access, according to the event’s organizers.

See the full schedule here.

Free Trees

Residents in the Mission can sign up now to get a free tree from Friends of the Urban Forest, a project in partnership with Calle 24 and Mission Verde. 

Organizers plan to plant the trees between April and July, 2021, but the deadline to request one is Sunday, Feb. 14. 

The currently intended planting area stretches from Mission Street to Potrero Avenue and from 23rd to 25th streets. Interested Mission residents who live outside of the planting area should still apply, according to the Friends of the Urban Forest website, because they plan to have more plantings in the Mission at some undetermined future date. 

Residents can choose from a selection of tree species based on their neighborhood, and organizers are also offering to water the trees for the first few years, until they pass the responsibility to StreetTree SF, a citywide program. 

Sign up for a tree here, or learn more about the project here

Virtual Open House

Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts is hosting a day full of virtual activities they are calling “Corazón Del Barrio” on Feb. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to celebrate the anniversary of the organization’s inception. 

“To begin our virtual birthday celebration, we’ll be offering dance, music, poetry and visual arts sessions, as well as a special Carnaval Workout Class to shake it all out!,” wrote Jennie Rodriguez, the organization’s executive director. 

All of the day’s events are free of charge and will be livestreamed on the center’s Facebook and YouTube accounts as well as on Zoom for the interactive workshops, which require registration. 

Most of the events are available for all ages to participate, though the Carnaval Dance Workshop is meant for those 13 and older, and the Afro Latin Drumming for Kids is meant for children ages seven to 12. 

Find out more or register for the workshops here.

Sidewalk Pop-up

Anybody who’s looking for a last-minute Valentine’s Day, or simply something to do outside this weekend, can go to a Porter Vintage pop-up at 3530B 23rd St. this Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. 

The outdoor pop-up will feature “all kinds of slinky, silky vintage gems,” according to a post on the retailer’s Instagram page, including affordable jewelry. 

Juan Carlos Lara

Juan Carlos Lara covers business and development in the Mission. Juan Carlos, a San Francisco State alum, is as much a photographer as he is a writer and previously worked as the campus news editor at...

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